October 1988 marked my immersion into pro-life ministry, as I stood directly in front of Hallmark Clinic, Charlotte’s then-most notorious abortion mill. It was very early that chilly Saturday morning, as I faced this evil for the first time, head-on. When I took this new, bold stand, my life changed forever. It was then I clearly saw the tremendous impact even one person who is trusting in the Lord can have. By God’s amazing grace, I know of 1,096 lives that have been saved over these twenty-three years. Hundreds and hundreds of these ladies have been lavishly showered with baby gifts and presented with the life-changing, soul-saving Gospel of Christ. Many have accepted the Lord. It’s been a glorious journey and a humbling privilege to be used by the Lord in this way. Thank you for partnering with me on the adventure.
It’s been about 13 weeks since I’ve written, so I’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Let’s get started…
1) Tina, whose shower I reported on last time, had her baby boy Oct. 13. She and her husband, Eric, named him Bryson David – in accordance with their 2 other B-named boys. He weighed 8lb 12oz and was 22″ long. Tina had a challenging time the last 4 weeks and was on bed rest. This caused financial hardship for their family, as she is the primary breadwinner. They were carefully budgeting their money to be able to make it through the 6-weeks of maternity leave, but they did not count on this setback. Truth & Mercy has already provided them with $200 to help towards their monthly expenses, but it didn’t go very far. Through their near-abortion experience and the pregnancy, they have rededicated themselves to the Lord and are in a good place spiritually. If you can help Tina, let me know! You might remember from my last report, Truth & Mercy provided them with all the usual shower items, but also a full set of furniture! They have been so appreciative of all the gifts and expressions of God’s love. It has all spoken loudly and clearly to them. Here is Bryson, one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. He’s only 5 days old in this picture. Notice his S M I L E…and dimples!
2) Next I showered Jennifer, who is a backsliding young woman I found out about through Scarlett, a dear friend of mine. Jennifer grew up in the faith but has rebelliously strayed. She found herself in a complicated, messy situation. Scarlett was in the amazing position to boldly and directly minister to her and confront her. I loaded Scarlett down with baby gifts, prayed with her, and off she went into the mission field. Thankfully, Jennifer trusted Scarlett and allowed her to speak into her life. The baby gifts opened that door, as they often do. She was so grateful for everything and she listened intently to the truth Scarlett spoke truth to her. Pray that she sets her feet on God’s path and comes to Him fully. Here are Jennifer and Noah:
3) Recently, I’ve provided three lavish and complete showers for three women who have declined to allow me to use their names and photos. This creates great challenges for me, because I cannot report to you and show you the fruit of your generous giving. Please trust me…they each had encounters with the living God as His love was demonstrated through the gifts and His Gospel was communicated in word and deed. These women and their situations are extremely private and personal and their circumstances must remain secret. I’m sure you can understand.
4) The next story is most difficult to tell. I have struggled immensely with the dilemma of reporting this outcome to you. Enormous resources and time have been expended in this story, so I feel I must disclose as much as possible, as a steward of your gifts, but there are several dear people involved and I want to be as accurate as I can without hurting anyone. I tell this from my perspective; others certainly may have different viewpoints.
Last February, I first heard about Eunice, who was then an 18-year old college student. I got a call from my friend, Laura, who said Eunice was pregnant and abortion-minded. I quickly gathered a pack of pro-life literature and information for Laura to give Eunice, but soon she was on her way to Planned Parenthood “just to get information”. Well, of course, we know that PP doesn’t benignly disseminate information. They tell lies and they sell and market abortions to vulnerable young women. I prayed for a miracle. He answered. Eunice never found the place. She came back home, still contemplating abortion, but willing to talk to me and others. I called Eunice and we had many phone conversations. Over the next couple of weeks, God moved in her heart and she chose life for her baby. She still had many hurdles to overcome, especially in telling her parents. Once her Christian parents found out, they strongly urged her to place the baby for adoption. Eunice struggled with this, especially after she viewed her baby girl at her 20-week ultrasound. Over the next few months, she did come to agree to the adoption when she found out how *open* adoptions can be. She genuinely seemed to come to peace with this decision, and her parents would continue to support her financially through college if she placed for adoption.
She continued to attend my church and got pastoral counsel throughout this time. In early August, she formally asked sweet friends of mine from church, Tyler and Robin Riggs, to adopt her baby. They saw this as God’s divine plan, as they had not been pursuing adoption. They interpreted this request as God’s will and as a divine opportunity to serve Eunice and the baby. They were delighted to do so and quickly set about taking care of they myriad of legal requirements and financial responsibilities. They started making space in their home and hearts for little Isabella Rose. Ladies from the Riggs’s Care Group showered Robin and I provided a great deal of gifts through Truth & Mercy.
Eunice received wonderful, free medical care through the doctors at Northgate Family Medicine. Dr. Harrison delivered Isabella on October 8 and she is beautiful! Eunice signed the adoption papers while still in the hospital, but she had 9 days to legally change her mind…and change her mind she did. The baby initially went home with the Riggs, only to be taken back a few days later. The Lord has supplied the Riggs with much grace in the days following this turn of events. They have been ministered to through their brothers and sisters in Christ, especially their pastor and Care Group at CrossWay. They continue to seek the Lord’s glory through it all. I have been profoundly affected by their Christlike response.
Meanwhile, I have since showered Eunice and tried to be supportive of her, too. Right now Eunice is trying to attend classes, study and care for the baby. She is back at home and her mother is caring for Isabella while she is in school, but this arrangement is only temporary. Eunice hopes to acquire a job soon so that she is not dependent upon her father for financial support. I am skeptical she can maintain school, job and baby, plus provide completely for herself. I think something will have to be sacrificed, at least temporarily. I am purposefully leaving out many of the more difficult and painful parts of the story, but you get the idea.
Can I ask you to pray for the Riggs? Robin put it so beautifully that I want to quote her here. In the midst of her confusion, as they were driving back to the adoption agency to return Isabella to Eunice, she stated through her tears, that her desire was “to see God’s resplendent glory in this whole, complicated situation so that everyone involved will know that He is Lord.” Let’s all join her in the prayer.
Meanwhile, here are Eunice and sweet little Isabella. Aren’t they both beautiful?
5) Next, I showered Rosa, who is expecting a girl anytime now. I learned about her through a street preacher, Joe Leone. She and her family were living in an empty apartment. Joe provided them with beds and other furniture and I provided the baby items. They are very grateful! The Gospel continues to go forth. The gifts open the door. It’s really that simple.
6) Jennifer (another Jennifer) is due any minute. To give you some background information, Lisa Metzger and her great family, met Jennifer months ago in front of “A Preferred Women’s Health Center” on Latrobe Ave. Through Lisa’s counsel and God’s grace, Jennifer chose life. Lisa will traveling to SC when the baby is born and she will deliver the already prepared baby gifts to her at that time. Stayed tuned!
7) I’m also showering Lily this week. Lily is expecting a baby girl in a few weeks. Lily didn’t consider abortion this time, but did 2 years ago when Ana Lotsey met her in front of the same abortion clinic as mentioned above. This time Lily knew truth! She still needed some help though, with baby things, but thankfully she still has all the major baby equipment. This time I provided girl clothing, since her 3 other children are boys, including the now 2-year old who was saved from abortion. I also will give her a case of diapers and wipes and toiletries. Well…I also provided a few pink towels and sheets, since no girl should have to place her sweet face on anything BLUE! 😉 Here is a photo of Lily from 2 years ago:
8) A few weeks ago out at the Latrobe Ave. abortion center, I caught up again with Hilary. You might remember her story from about a year and a half ago. She was a pregnant, young college student at that time. Through a great deal of local family support, she has mothered little Anthony, who is now 15 months old. Hilary’s life has been tremendously impacted by her experience. She regularly ministers in front of the abortion clinic and she is now the president of Students for Life at UNCC. God specializes in redeemed lives!
Thank you, again, to Leroy Baker, who consistently provides great amounts of diapers and wipes and other miscellaneous items to Truth & Mercy. He has a wonderful team from Operation Blessing in Virginia who continually and graciously garner these much-needed items. The women are so grateful to see such vast amounts of expensive diapers and consumables provided to them so generously. It really is an amazing thing to witness.
I also want to take a minute to thank Cindy Holleman and highlight her work. She’s been completely managing all the baby clothing for me for over a year now. She has done a marvelous job and has relieved me of a huge burden. She sorts all clothing donations, stores them and gift bags them for me when it’s time to do a shower. I’ve hit her with seven surprise showers lately and she has heroically come through each time. Thank you, Cindy!
My next showers are for Ilse and Kim, who are both expecting girls!
Thank you for your continued support. While mission costs money, remember, I take no salary and have very little overhead. Truth & Mercy is an effective and efficient investment in the Gospel and the lives of the defenseless unborn. May God grant another 23 years of ministry!
For His great glory,